Continuing Tales

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 16 of 25

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First Truths

For Mr. Gold the world stood absolutely still, time itself seemed not to exist. In that one moment he was away from everything and everyone accept her; lost in the enchantment of her velvet lips, the warmth and sweetness of her mouth against his own. No curse, no Regina, no Storybrooke. Only Belle, his Belle.

Finally what felt like an eternity, and yet only a few precious seconds he parted from her with the linger sensation of her still tingling on his lips, and with a heavy pang of regret that the moment was gone. He truly didn't know what would happen next, what would she do now that he had kissed her?

Her lashes hooded her blue eyes as Gold stood there watching her intently for any hint of what was running through her head. They didn't move and they didn't speak for long moments only simply staring at one another in the huge kitchen, daring the other for the first move.

Gold's features furrowed with concern, even though the action caused him to wince in pain from the wound on his forehead. Should he say something? But then what was there to say?

Swallowing hard he dabbed his lips quickly with his tongue before deeming to speak. "Belle?" For all his long minutes of frantically working out what to say that was as far as he got before his mind drew a complete blank.

His throat caught tightly, as slowly her head tilted up to look at him. Her maple curls hid some of her face, but her cobalt eyes searched his slowly as if trying to memorize his features, or place them perhaps. To Gold he felt as if those eyes could see every secret tucked inside of him, he was powerless to her warm gaze.

"Rum." She acknowledged assuredly. There was no uncertainty to the name, she knew for a fact it was him.

He nodded slowly once; daring to confirm the special moniker she had called him in his castle ages ago. "Yes."

Inside his heart fluttered at a rapid tempo. She remembered now fully, of that he was certain. There were no snatches of memories, but full ones of this world and the last. How would she react when she remembered how he had turned her out, and shut her away from his heart. Would her confession of love be taken back? It was no less than he deserved.

A sigh of relief mingled with light bubbling laughter filled the kitchen, banishing Gold's fears like light banishes darkness, as Anna wrapped her arms around him in a hug. "I knew it was you. I thought I was crazy; they said I was mad how I went on about some man named Rum. But I know truly without a hint of doubt that you are him."

The moment he had kissed her, everything had snapped back in order in Annabelle's mind. The once brief images that flitted about in her head were reformed with a vivid clarity. She rebuilt the moments of leaving with him, living with him, secretly falling in love with him. She remembered that her name was not Annabelle, but Belle, and she was not from this place.

She remembered kissing him, and he spurning her offered love, breaking her heart in tiny pieces as he cast her away. He said he wanted his power more than her, and yet here he was settling her mind and repairing the brokenness with one kiss True loves kiss. Despite what he said about not wanting her, she had always known different.

She knew what lurked inside his heart; it would always be there even if he denied it to the end of time. Holding him tightly in her arms, she didn't want to let him go. Rum, her Rum!


"You're looking at some serious charges, Mr. French." Emma stated flatly as she dropped into her chair. A Styrofoam cup of coffee warmed her hands as she stared incredulously at Moe French.

The man was a mess, his gray shirt and jeans crumpled, his bloated form almost taking a faint sickly yellow tint, clear little rivulets of sweat brooking down the side of his graying temple, and the strong stench of a different menagerie of alcohol to top it all off.

He fiddled with his thick fingers nervously, casting wary glances all about the room, as if some figment of nightmare would appear at any moment. "W-what kind of T-trouble?"

Taking a sip of the scalding hot brew, the sheriff carelessly threw a manila folder across the table to Mr. French. "Assault and battery, public intoxication, starting a riot, disturbing the peace." Emma rolled off the list of charges as the former flower salesmen ruffled through the small folder frantically flipping the pages again and again as if they would read differently.

His eyes scanned over the words almost in disbelief, his mouth opening and closing but no words coming out. He looked back up to Emma, plain cold fear dancing in his eyes that intrigued Miss Swann.

"I had a little too much to drink, and it's Mr. Gold we're talking about here! Name me one person who wouldn't want to give him a left to the jaw!" He protested; his usual tones laced with dread.

Setting her cup down, Emma shifted in her chair so that she was leaning over the table. She could see in his eyes he was willing to do almost anything to stay out of the clutches of the justice system which would work just fine for her. "I could write the charges off. Even Gold admitted it was a mob that attacked him, he would never be able to prove that you were the one that assaulted him even if we both know you did."

A look of relief bloomed upon Mr. French's face, his shoulders slumping slightly, as a loud sigh passed his lips. "So you'll help me right?"

"First." Emma lips dipped into a hard frown as she leaned back. "I want you to tell me about the situation between Mr. Gold and your daughter, Annabelle. If you tell me the truth, I promise I'll do everything I can to get the charges dropped."

Mr. French's brow scrunched in confusion as he quirked his head slightly to the side. After a moment he shook his head slightly in confusion. "Why do want to-?"

"I want to know what's going on." She admitted bluntly, her eyes narrowing. Taking up the cup again she took a small sip, her eyes never leaving the hulk of a man before her. "Start talking."

Drumming his fingers on the steel desk, Moe took one last good look around the room as if Mr. Gold could have been standing in a corner, his beady little eyes staring at him in a dare to say a word. "Look, after Gold took my van my life took a downturn. Things were tough. When Anna got released she tried finding work."

"And succeeded apparently." Emma concluded.

Moe nodded his head once, sadly. "Yes, but I didn't know it was Gold who she was supposed to be working for. All she told me was that she found a job at the Storybrooke cleaning Co. Eventually I found out, and asked her about working for him." Emma watched with a slight bit of astonishment, as the former flower salesmen's face, wrenched in anger, his nostrils flaring, and face taking on a hint of crimson. He curled his fist up to stop from shaking. "She said something about him being a master or lover. I asked if she was sleeping with him; she refused to answer. I know my Anna; she'd never do something of that nature on her own. She'd never go that low. I told her to quit, we would find another way, but she refused."

"So you think Mr. Gold has been some how blackmailing and using her." Emma asked curiously her brow arched.

Moe nodded, his lips curled in a snarl. "What else would you expect from a beast like Gold?"

Snatching up the file again, Emma put it in a safe place, though she flashed the now grocery clerk an accusatory glare. "Knowing all this why didn't you come here to ask for help? For months she's been there doing who knows what with him and I have to drag you here under charges of you assaulting him."

"I…um…well." Moe stammered his jowls wobbling nervously, as his eyes darted about unable to meet Emma's knowing glance that seemed to burn through his corpulent flesh.

"You didn't want to be embarrassed." She dead panned, filling in the space that he couldn't. She spat a mirthless little chuckle of disgust, shaking her head. "You couldn't take another blow to your pride, so you cut ties from her making everyone else think she'd done it on her own to balm your ego. You left her at the mercy of Mr. Gold."

It never ceased to amaze Emma how selfish others could be when some one else was in danger. It practically made her want to give up on the entire human race.

Moe looked up to her, his eyes filmed with tears that he kept back with a rapid series of blinks. His hands outstretched as if trying to give an explanation. He paused for a moment as if realizing there was no explanation to give. He rejected her because of her association.

Shutting his mouth, he flipped his baseball cap on, grabbed his old jacket and plodded out the station, his head hung in shame. There were no words he could say.

Emma watched him leave, all too happy to see him go, her lips turned in disgust. Thanks to him not wanting to bring the situation to light in favor of salving his pride, it would be difficult trying to pin anything on the cunning Mr. Gold who always had an ace up his sleeve. With a sigh, Emma ran her hand through her honey tresses trying to think of some way to prove the hidden actions of the pawnbroker Mr. Gold.


"So what happened?" Gold asked, slowly stirring his cup of tea. "After I…" Looking down at the brown brew to see his reflection, he couldn't bring himself to finish. After he had shunned her, cast her out into a world he should have known would reject her for her affiliation with him.

They were sitting in his living room, taking opposite sides of the couch that faced the now cold fireplace. The curtains in the room were pulled back, suffusing the room in warmth and light that felt as if it were sinking into them on the warm spring day.

Anna turned to him, though her eyes seemed as though she was looking back into the distance, a memory coming into place. "After you freed me." She filled in for him gently. "I started on my way back home."

She remembered well the lonely nights in the dark forest with only a pitiful fire for companionship and protection to stave off the fangs and claws of the night that wanted so badly to grab at her. But they always held their distance, for what reason she never knew, but she liked to imagine sometimes some lingering essence of him was still on her, protecting her in a way. She would be curled up under her light green cloak, thinking of him, always thinking of him.

Sometimes she'd come across and inn or tavern and spend her nights in the hazy shadowy glow of smoke and a large warm hearth oblivious to the hearty songs and stories told about the tables to friends who drank and joked and enjoyed their lives.

Once she had come across a love struck dwarf, in a tavern in the Wild Woods. A kindred spirit to her own, miserable without his love, wanting desperately to be with them. She knew those raging feelings all to well; they were her curse. It was one of the rare occasions she'd talked to another on the long trek homeward. She hoped at least he could be with his love even if she was bound to go through her life away from the one she would never stop loving.

"When I got home my father was less than pleased to see me." She revealed quietly after letting out a wavering breath.

Even now she could remember the shocked or horrified glances of courtiers and nobles as she walked through the halls of her father's kingdom. She, who was supposedly to live out the rest of her existence as a servant to the hated Rumpelstiltskin had arrived out of the blue one dreary winter's night.

Stifling a shudder that crawled up her spine, she shifted slightly. "Gaston had gone missing, my father didn't believe me when I said you had let me go, he thought it was some sort of trick or I had escaped and you would come after me. And above it all…" She paused for a moment, a muscle twitching in her jaw. "He thought that…well even a monster needs some one to warm their bed at night. In his eyes I was tainted in every way imaginable. Before he even thought about allowing me back I needed to be 'purified.'"

Cleanses of flame, scourges, flaying…The words that Regina had spat at Gold still felt as if she had said them moments ago, causing his heart to wrench. He wasn't there to protect her when he should have been. With a wave of his hand he could have halted the torment put about her body. "He tortured you." He managed to say through a dry throat.

"No. He was going to send clerics in to do so, though he never got a chance." Belle shook her head. "I was locked in the tower, trying desperately to find a way of escape before they came. Then she showed up."

Belle could remember the feeling of unease, and the shivering sensation that felt like cobwebs faintly brushing across her skin at the magic that had entered the tower. It had been the woman she'd met on the road, her ruby red lips thinned in a slight superior grin.

"The Dark Queen as you called her. The one that tricked me into betraying your trust of me. She arrived and offered me a means of escape."

"How?" Gold asked, his mind combing through the many spells that could have been used to help her. He could have detected the Harpy wasn't telling the truth if she had flat out said a whole lie, some of it though had to have been true.

"A spell. One that would make it look like me, sound like me, feel like me, but it wouldn't be; a shell of sorts. A 'mirror image' as she termed it." Belle distinctly remembered the woman in black briskly walking about the room, casting everything under her sharp hawk like glare as she casually told the beauty the fate that awaited her.

"At first I told her no, after the hand she had played taking me away from you. I wanted no part of it. Then she talked of scourges and flaying, and I got scared." Belle admitted, her tone almost ashamed.

"Rum will not let this happen to me." Belle snarled to the trite woman who calmly stood before her, relaying a fate Belle dreaded.

"My dear he doesn't care for you; to do so would admit a weakness. Rumpel can do many things, but show weakness is not among them. He does not love you. He will hear your cries on the wind as you are tortured, calling for him, wanting him to come and take you away, but will simply shut the windows in his castle." She replied, with a large grin clearly enjoying Belle's pain.

Belle shook her head banishing the memory away. "I believed her venomous words. I didn't trust her, but anything would have been better than awaiting torture." Belle uttered a faint mirthless chuckle; shaking her head. "How wrong I was. After she cast her spell, she transported us. I thought I had escaped only to find myself in another prison-her dungeon."

"So it was Regina who locked you up all along." Gold concluded, almost growling. A hatred, such as he had never known but for one other, came surging through him at the thought of Belle being alive somewhere in the fetid hole of Regina's palace.

"Yes. She came to see me sometimes while I was her prisoner. It was always to either gloat, or torture me." Belle visibly shivered then, unable to keep it at bay with the thoughts. "It took me a while, but I realized the pattern. When she came to gloat it was always because she thought she got one up on you, but when she came to torture me, I knew you had managed to thwart or anger her in some way. I remember one occasion, the worst, where the pain was so bad it felt as if all my bones were breaking as she cast her magic on me. Through the whole thing all I could do was laugh at her, because I knew you had beaten her in a no way out situation. I must have seemed truly insane; half screaming half laughing."

With a slight shrug Belle let the memory fall away. "After that she left me in the dungeons to rot; never seeing me again. Then one morning I woke in an asylum. I had memories from here, but ones of the old world as well. Until this morning, I thought they were only due to mental problems."

Her eyes seemed to come back into focus, as she stared at him, a small smile coming to her face at the sudden thought of her mental curse broken. "True loves kiss, correct?"

They remained quiet for a time, letting the revelations sink in of what had transpired. Gold grimaced as he watched the darkened hearth, and the black smears of charcoal soot curled across the hearth. She had gone through so much simply because of him and his fear. For the life of him he still couldn't figure out why she was still here now with all her knowledge and not trying to run away from him.

"Can you forgive me?" He blurted suddenly warily. His hand traced the beautiful blue flower paint on his chipped cup absently. Mentally he prepared for the 'no', or an answer simply being that to much had occurred for that to be an option.

"What you're really asking is can I still love you." Belle replied quietly.

She had always been an insightful one, Gold knew. He turned to face her directly, only nodding slowly as a reply. He could understand all to well if it was a resounding no, or that her feelings had changed. Whose wouldn't after all he had done?

Belle grinned gently, as she moved closer to him. It was now Gold's turn to feel frozen as her body neared his. He barely felt his arms encircling her as she faced him only inches apart. She kissed him wonderously slow, savoring the taste of his mouth, her fingers absently entangling into his hair.

"I love you." She finally managed to say again as she parted away from the kiss. Their breathing was heavy and sharp as they searched one another. Her body was comfortably pressed against his own, their lips barely brushing as she whispered to him. "I meant it then and I mean it now. Deals, queens, and curses will never change that, Rumpelstiltskin."


Back in her office, Regina grinned from ear to ear in devilish glee. The private almost heartwarming picture flickering on her computer screen was damning in every possible way.

A kiss, such a simple stupid little gestures of affection. Yet, it was one that like everything else around her would work for her benefit when the time arrived. It was foolproof now; there was no going back from this for one Mr. Gold. He had just successfully and knowingly sealed his fate. Such is what happened when people fell in love, they got weak and careless.

"Well, Rumpel it certainly took you long enough." Regina sneered at the picture before scrolling to the print button on her screen.

The Heart Won't Lie

A Once Upon a Time Story
by Eyes Like Dawn

Part 16 of 25

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